(Beyond 48)

This particular Omer journey was designed to move from Oppression — a place where Pharaoh does not know his own past and Israel and God have ye to honeymoon — through learning more about oppression and liberation to Sinai. The goal was to “reach Sinai more able to hear divine values, serve God’s liberation work.” […]

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Enough, yet? (Beyond 47)

Singing Dayenu [“enough for us”] is a 1000-year old Passover tradition. The 15-stanza poem thanks G-d for 15 blessings bestowed upon the Jews in the Exodus. Had G-d only parted the seas for us, “It would have been enough” we say for each miracle or divine act, thus humbly appreciating the immensity of the gifts. […]

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Reaping the Omer (Beyond 46)

In her book, The Other Talmud, Rabbi Judith Abrams notes that “Nowadays, we count the days of the Omer, but in the days of the Temple, they reaped the omer.” Let’s give Shavuot the makeover it deserves…. We can transform the Omer counting from the dolorous business it’s become to what it probably was before: […]

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Malcolm X and the Power of Small Things (Beyond 45)

“The fame we get from fighting for the freedom of others creates a prison for us,” Malcolm X wrote in 1964 to Azizah al-Hibri, then a college student at the American University in Beirut. Their brief in-person connection and subsequent correspondence are still treasured by Dr. al-Hibri, now retired as chair of KARAMAH: Muslim Women […]

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Range of Possibilities (Beyond 44)

“The media we consume has a profound impact on the range of possibilities we can imagine. Therefore, centering Black female narratives in our reading habits should be a central practice for anyone trying to envision a world in which Black Women are respected, honored, supported and loved.” — So writes Aaron Goggans in his post, […]

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(Beyond 43)

Honestly, I’m pretty much with Murray here in this 12-second commentary on…all of it, from the 1965 film, A Thousand Clowns with Jason Robards: But I also share this tentative — and therefore, I think, fitting and inspiring at this point — sing-along “prayer-eoke” for the opening lines of Psalm 121 — I will lift […]

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Toward Harvest, part 2 (Beyond 42)

With the close of this Shabbat, we leave the week of Yesod [“foundation,” power/(pro-)creativity] in this Omer journey away from oppression. We now move into Malkhut [“sovereignty”], the final week in our journey toward Shavuot, celebration of harvest and Revelation. Leaving Day 42 might also call to mind that ultimately, there are 42 stages in […]

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Toward Harvest, part 1 (Beyond 41)

The Jewish calendar places us in several different moments simultaneously. We are just over a week away from Shavuot, our re-experiencing of Sinai; but we are also Behar [at the mountain] already, as we close out the reading of Leviticus in the annual Torah cycle (Behar, Lev 25:1-26:2, & Bechukotai, Lev 26:3-27:34). We have counted […]

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Wanting Memories to Teach Me (Beyond 40)

Contemplating how near we are to Sinai and how much we have yet to learn, Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Wanting Memories” came to mind. I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me to see the beauty in the world Through my own eyes … I know that I am you and you are […]

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(Beyond 39)

“With social media, people were no longer talking. The [contemporary storytelling] movement really began because people missed people. That’s what storytelling does: It connects people.” So Syd Lieberman told Sam Payne of “The Apple Seed” radio program some time back. After news this week of Syd Lieberman’s passing, the Apple Seed today re-broadcast the conversation […]

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